My favorite part of a console's launch is seeing the weird accessories third parties bust out to make a quick buck. Obvious stuff like console stands, controller grips, and screen protectors if the system is a portable. Then there are the items that no one asked for. The ideas seemingly dreamed up from some executive's powder addled brain. You know what would be good? A neck brace people can wear to play their Nintendo Switch's on. Do you think that's a joke? Nope, that's one thousand percent real and I only bring it up because the sister article that inspired this PlayStation piece didn't write about it. Let's count that as a bonus fact, or whatever. Anyway, the point is we covered Nintendo and now it's time to throw some shade at Sony's PlayStation line of consoles.
To be clear, a lot of these instruments of terror aren't their fault. The thing is literally anyone can make an accessory for a video game system. Yes, even you! There's a lot of money and development involved so it's not easy, but it is feasible. I want to give more examples right off the bat here, but I don't want to spoil anything. I am incredibly baffled and can't wait to brighten up your day with these awful, but hilarious toys. I also wanted to give some praise to ten PlayStation accessories that have made the family of consoles better. You need to have a little sugar with some of the spice to make everything nice.
30 Ridiculous: Memory Cards
It's hard to believe that we once had to pay in order to save our games. I remember watching my brother play Final Fantasy VII for hours when he first got it. When he was ready to shut it off he was notified the game couldn't save. Thankfully, Target was still open so we made a quick run and everything turned out okay. The PS Vita might be the worse example of Sony's cash-grabbing hands. Those cards are ridiculously expensive for not a lot of data.
29 Ridiculous: PS2 Network Adapter
Realistically, the network adapter for the PS2 was a hit. At the time that is, but looking back at it now, well, it seems like a ripoff. I can't believe we used to live in a world where we had to buy adapters in order to play games online. This is even more insulting given the fact that the Xbox came built in with network capabilities. So yes, again, at the time it was a good way to get online, but the cost shouldn't have existed in the first place.
28 Useful: PS3 Memory Card Adapter
While memory cards sucked, it was a plague gamers had to deal with for a while. There is one accessory that made this retro cost worth it for the future. That is to say, there was a PS2 and PS1 memory card adapter that would let you transfer saves into the PS3.
The legacy of my 99:99 hour save from Final Fantasy VII will live on!
The PS1 was more effective as every game worked on the system if you owned it physically. The PS2 games were a toss up, but either way this was a handy little invention.
27 Ridiculous: UltraRacer PS1 Controller
What does this look like to you? If a PlayStation controller is one of your guesses then you're a genius. Either that or you read my title. Point is with a single glance this does not look like a normal controller, but more like a fancy TV remote. The top part is supposed to simulate a wheel for driving. Why not just make a real wheel then? How do you even hold that thing? I imagine it wasn't cheap at launch either.
26 Ridiculous: Onimusha Katana Controller
I feel I should clarify yet again that all of these entries are indeed real. This katana shaped controller was released alongside Onimusha 3 in order to help promote it. I remember reading about it in Official PlayStation Magazine and thinking, "I have to have this!" Hey, I was a kid and an avid Onimusha fan so cut me some slack. Actually, you know what, I think I still secretly want it for the story. It is one of gaming's dumbest controllers and would be a fine piece in my collection.
25 Useful: PSOne LCD Screen
I grew up with the big, clunky version of the PlayStation. My friend, on the other hand, got into games when the PSOne, the remodeled version, released. Her parents also bought her the official Sony LCD screen attachment. While I had my own TV in my room she didn't so this was the compromise they made with her. Yes, it's not as big as a "real" TV, but when you grow up with handhelds like the Game Boy it seemed huge. It's legitimately a good screen.
24 Ridiculous: PlayStation Multitaps
The Nintendo 64 made a lot of blunders during this first era of 3D gaming wherein Sony absolutely trounced them in many regards. There's one important plus for the N64 though: multiplayer. Yes, you still needed to buy expensive, extra controllers, but at least the system came with four ports. The GameCube did as well. Sony flubbed with both the PlayStation and PS2, making players pay for a multitap accessory. Thankfully wireless technology has made this headache a thing of the past.
23 Ridiculous: Dragon Quest Slime Controller
This makes me giddy with joy every time I see it. I knew as soon as I picked up this piece that the Dragon Quest Slime controller was going to make it in. I also remember reading about this in the Official PlayStation Magazine. However, I did not realize there was one besides the PS2 version. The one you're seeing now is for the PS4, which would indicate the PS2 controller sold well enough to merit a sequel of sorts. Japan is a weird country.
22 Useful: PS4 Controller Keyboard Attachment
I used to think that touch controls on phones were never going to feel good. Now I can't imagine using outdated hardware like keys on a keyboard. That said not all smart devices are equal.
I look forward to typing on air in the future.
Typing up a conversion on PS4 using the D-Pad, stick, or touchpad can be cumbersome. That's why I suggest getting a QWERTY keyboard attachment. That is, if you use a lot of text chat. It may look weird and uncomfortable, but it works surprisingly well.
21 Ridiculous: PlayStation Move Boxing Gloves
The PlayStation Move, by itself, almost made it on the bad list. However, with the launch of PlayStation VR, the weird bulbous controllers are more useful now than ever. That said I could still feel safe making fun of the peripherals companies were trying to sell for them. Imagine that. It's an accessory for an accessory. Anyway, in case you needed to really immerse yourself in boxing, you could get gloves that wrapped around your controllers. I just don't understand who thought this was a good and or smart idea.
20 Ridiculous: uDraw Tablet
How could THQ's terrible invention not make it on here? They invested on the uDraw tablet with full force, which later bit them in the butt. It is literally the reason why the company folded in 2012. This story via Polygon really gets into the nitty-gritty and is a fascinating read, but the cliff notes version of that is just as I said before. They thought it was going to huge. It wasn't, so warehouses were stacked with products they wouldn't move. They're back now so I guess everything worked out?
19 Useful: PlayStation VR
Speaking about PlayStation VR let me sing its praises as a beginning skeptic. When this new wave of VR was making the rounds, starting with the Oculus Rift, I thought it was silly. Oh look, the next wave of "revolutionary" controls.
Seeing is believing.
That was me being sarcastic as I remember the ill-fated motion control boom. Now those controllers have been adapted into VR units and you know what, they're great. I bought the PSVR on a whim and while it is expensive, I was blown away by the results.
18 Ridiculous: Tony Hawk Ride Skateboard
The Tony Hawk games ruled the roost for nigh on a decade. Eventually, the series hit its peak in the PS2 generation and just couldn't work itself out for the new HD era. What was Activision's solution? It was a rickety skateboard peripheral. They made Guitar Hero a sensation, so why shouldn't flipping a skateboard indoors do the same? Well, there are a lot of reasons why that didn't work and the blunt, sarcastic response is this: because it was a dumb idea.
17 Ridiculous: PS2 EyeToy
Nintendo technically launched the first motion controls. No, I'm not talking about the Wii. I'm referring to the Power Glove, which counts even though it really didn't work. The next step in motion gaming was Sony via the PS2. Yes, before the Wii Sony released the EyeToy and a series of mini-games to go along with it. All you needed was your hands to play just like Microsoft's Kinect. It was better than the Power Glove, but not by much.
16 Useful: Rock Band Instruments
Even though the fad has pretty much burned out on Guitar Hero and Rock Band, that doesn't change the fact that they are both great party experiences. It was one of those cases where we got too much of a good thing way too fast.
When is Cowbell Hero coming?
Cost aside the quality of the games and instruments were superb. While it's a pain to set up and, or store, I still break out my drums every once and awhile for some rocking.
15 Ridiculous: PlayStation Glove
If you thought Nintendo was the only company with a glove accessory, think again. While this wasn't internally developed at Sony, there was indeed a rival to the Power Glove for the PlayStation with the clunky name of "the video game control glove." Calling it a glove is kind of a stretch. It's more like a controller you strap to your wrist. How lazy did the 90s think gamers were that they couldn't even be bothered to hold a small piece of plastic?
14 Ridiculous: Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller
Like Onimusha's katana, I desperately also wanted this when I saw it. Feast your eyes on the Resident Evil 4 chainsaw controller. It even comes with a bloody rest that cuts a picture of Leon right down the middle. It's funny but impractical. The most iconic enemy in the game is the bag-headed chainsaw maniac, but to go so far as to create a replica is a bit weird. The game was good on its own. Capcom didn't need to promote the PS2 port that hard as to create this exclusive.
13 Useful: Dance Dance Revolution Pads
As silly as it may sound I was deeply infatuated with Dance Dance Revolution. Not in the arcade, but on PS2. The first time I played it was at a friend's sleepover party. I couldn't believe how fun it was and how responsive the dance pads were.
I started a revolution with my feet!
My love of dancing games has carried over to Just Dance, which is admittedly easier to set up without the need of pads. That said I would never forget the iconic sound of those plastic pads crinkling beneath my feet.
12 Ridiculous: The PlayStation Mouse
Before Halo, console first-person shooters were pretty dismal. In order to counteract that control schism, a mouse was introduced for the PlayStation. I don't know if that's specifically why Sony made it, but it was probably one of their thoughts. Here's the thing with corded mice though. You need to be close to the source. That means you either had to sit on the floor with this thing, or set it up on a desk, which if you did that rigmarole than you may as well own a PC.
11 Ridiculous: Namco NeGcon
While the Namco NeGcon is weird looking, it's not the strongest design on here. Like a lot of these, it is baffling though. If you couldn't tell by the split in the middle, this PS1 controller can rotate much like a speeder bike's clutch. It was designed to simulate that feeling as well as improve steering in racing games like Namco's own Ridge Racer. Again, it's certainly not the worst controller on this list, but it doesn't stack up next to the original.
10 Useful: Rez's Trance Vibrator
You better believe Rez's Trance Vibrator is useful... Let's move past it now.
Jokes aside the creator of Rez, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, believed in feeling the music. That's why the peripheral was made. While it's easy to make fun of it actually does feel good combined with Rez's rhythmic action. As a side note, Mizuguchi also made a full body vibration suit just for Rez Infinite, but it's not for resale. Dang!
9 Ridiculous: PSP Digital TV Tuner
Would it surprise you to know that the PSP received exclusive peripherals in Japan? It shouldn't because while it flopped in the West it was huge over there namely due to one series: Monster Hunter. One of these add-ons came in the form of a TV tuner so you could hijack airwaves to watch TV. I don't know why anyone would buy this though. The PSP's screen isn't terrible, but it just seems like a useless gadget trying to chase smartphones.
8 Ridiculous: Sony PocketStation
What's the difference between the Sony PocketStation and the Dreamcast's VMU? The VMU was a memory card you could play mini-games on using your save data. The PocketStation wasn't a memory card, but it did let players get exclusive mini-games for bigger titles. The one I remember getting promoted was Final Fantasy VIII even though the West didn't get this trinket. Now the Dreamcast released in November 1998 while the PocketStation launched in January 1999 for Japan. Is that why the PocketStation is so bad? Seems like it was rushed to copy the innovation that was the VMU.
7 Useful: PowerA DualShock 4 Charging Dock
As gamers, I'm sure we can all share the experience of bad and or weird Christmas presents from people not in the know about video games. Take my sister-in-law for example. Last year she got me this dual charger for my PS4 controllers, which was something I didn't think I needed or wanted.
This is great for charging controllers before parties.
Turns out I was wrong. While I can easily live without it, the PowerA charging station is actually quite useful. It's especially handy since the PS4 only has two USB slots. Hey, thanks, sis!
6 Ridiculous: Kootek PS4 Vertical Stand
An example of a not so useful PS4 dock is this one. It looks like Homer Simpson tried to design it. If you've seen "The Homer" then you probably get my reference. For those unaware basically it's a car with everything, but the kitchen sink thrown in like this PS4 dock. The weirdest inclusion in this thing is the game shelf. Good thing it comes with a fan because all of this stuff attached is sure to overheat your system quickly.
5 Ridiculous: Hori PS4 Tac Grip Controller
Hori is a pretty great company when it comes to arcade sticks for consoles. They make some pretty decent accessories overall, but that doesn't mean they're perfect. That is to say even they have an oddball, or two on staff that thought this was a good idea. It's like they saw the PlayStation Mouse and thought they could improve upon it by packaging it with half a PS4 controller. When I'm playing games I don't want to feel like I'm juggling my controllers.
4 Useful: Backup Games With An External HD
I'm split when it comes to digital games. For one, I like physical media since that's what I grew up with. That said I do love how handy it is to have all of my games on the system. It saves me minutes, ha.
It's super easy to set up and use!
However, games are getting bigger every day and so are their frequent updates. With the limited space of a standard PS4, well, data will be drained fast. However, if you buy an external drive you can not only backup games, but play them off of it too.
3 Ridiculous: PSP Camera
Another PSP accessory that felt like it was too late to the party was its camera peripheral. Like the TV tuner, it was meant to make your PSP into more than just a gaming system. I remember reading about that in, yes, the Official PlayStation Magazine. Sony had big plans to make it the PSP a sleek, all in one device that was as accessible as their Walkman series, but sadly it just didn't work out. Success aside it's just a bad, lower quality camera.
2 Ridiculous: Wu-Tang Shaolin Style PS1 Controller
First of all, wow. I didn't know the Wu-Tang Clan had a PS1 game. Two, I didn't know said game had a controller tie-in shaped like their insignia. Based on the shape I feel like everyone in the group pitched the marketers to ship the game with a throwing star modeled after their logo. Seeing as that would be dangerous my guess is they had to settle for a repurposed controller. I mean look at it. How do you even hold the darn thing?
1 Useful: PSP Component AV Cables
Time to show the PSP some love after dogging on it. Look. It's very easy to make fun of, but that said I also own one and love it. One of the coolest accessories you could buy came in the form of AV cables, which let you play PSP games on your TV.
It's like the PlayStation version of the Super Game Boy.
There is a small catch. The image, while larger than the PSP screen, still did not take up the full TV. Still, it was a pretty neat idea and made it easy to record footage.